Royals Overcome Third-Period Deficit for 6-5 Win on Opening Night
St. John's, NL - Brayden Low and Pascal Laberge scored ten seconds apart in the third period, helping the Reading Royals overcome a one-goal third-period deficit to wave off the Newfoundland Growlers, 6-5, in the 2019-20 season opener Friday at Mile One Centre. Low scored net front on a pass from Garrett Mitchell (2a). Off the ensuing face-off, Pascal Laberge found a misfired, ricocheted pass at the slot and buried it top-right corner at 8:34 of the third. Felix SandstrÃ¶m blocked 11 shots in a perfect third period and finished with 25 saves. Maxsim Zhukov took the loss with 18 saves (6 GA).
In addition to the one-goal comeback, the Royals also engineered a four-goal run after falling behind, 3-0, in the first. Steven Swavely (2a) finished with a multi-point game in addition to Ralph Cuddemi (2g) and Mitchell.
The 2019-20 season is presented by Tower Health UPMC Health Plan. The second game of the three-game trip at Newfoundland starts Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Watch on BCTV and listen on mixlr.com/readingroyals.
The first Royals' home game on Oct. 19 vs. Maine features a massive block party, games, food, drinks and a special "Downtown Alive" concert on Penn Street before the home opener.
Single-game tickets and mini-plans are on sale by visiting royalshockey.com/promotions, calling 610-898-7825 and visiting Santander Arena and The Weidenhammer Box Office at 700 Penn Street, Reading, PA.
Down by three with fewer than eight minutes remaining in the first, the Royals notched three straight goals to even the score on their next four shots. First, Garret Cockerill sniped it from the top of the left dot with 4:26 left, assisted by Rob Michel and captain Garrett Mitchell. Next, with 3:04 left, Ralph Cuddemi scored on a shot that fooled Zhukov from the top of the right circle. To finish the run, with 45 seconds left in the first, Frank DiChiara sniped it and scored through Zhukov from the right circle.
The Royals then came back with goals on consecutive shots in the final nine minutes of the third with strikes from Brayden Low and Pascal Laberge.
SandstrÃ¶m steady at the end
With 11 saves in the third period, Felix SandstrÃ¶m battled back to move to 1-0-0-0 after giving up five goals on his first 20 shots faced. That included goals on three straight shots on the first period, which allowed Zach O'Brien (2g) and Newfoundland to take a 3-0 lead.
SandstrÃ¶m was drafted 70th overall by Philadelphia in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. This is his first season in North America.
Cuddemi debuts strongly (again)
Ralph Cuddemi potted a pair of goals, the Royals 2nd (16:56 of 1st) and 4th (3:10 of 2nd), both of which provided key strikes at different times. The first goal gave the Royals two tallies in 1:21, which made the score 3-2 and prevented Newfoundland from adding more insurance. Next, Cuddemi gave the Royals his first lead with a snipe from inside the left circle on a 2-on-1. He scored 22 times for Wichita last season.
He also scored in the Royals first preseason game a week ago vs. Adirondack.
Reading's new five-game mini-plan includes a meal for every game, a Reading Royals Hat, an exclusive fan experience, an autographed team picture and a guaranteed giveaway for each of the 5 games. Purchase your seat or seats today by calling 610-898-7825 or by visiting https://bit.ly/2LSHBp8.
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